I got KNIVES! Specifically, I was given a 3-pc Zwilling J.A. Henckels starter set. I have been cooking for myself, and for my dog, more since we moved into the new place last year. The kitchen is bigger and a lot easier to work in. The one thing I was missing, that I couldn't afford to buy for myself, was a good set of knives.
I dropped a hint to my nephews and VOILA! All those years of my spoiling them are paying off in a big way.
I also got a Kapoosh block to stick the knives in, and a 1TB external drive. I also got gloves with the fingertips cut off, which I was informed are for texting--I thought they would be very handy for picking up dog poop (those little bags are difficult to work with when you're wearing gloves). Either way, they will be used.
But, I am just so excited about my knives. All of those dull cheap crappy ones are going in the bin.
I hope you gave them a few pennies in return. My mother has a terrible superstition about never giving anyone knives as a gift without taking something, however small, in return.
(I'm not saying I subscribe to that superstition. The first sentence above was written in jest.)
Anyway. I got money, a pair of socks, and a few books which included a signed copy of Telegraph Avenue, Michael Chabon's new novel, from my girlfriend. Unfortunately that last one wasn't a surprise (I was with her when she bought it), but it's still a wonderful present - I'm not too bothered about the autograph, but I've been looking forward to the book since before it was published.
Cheesy I know, but the best bits were the reactions which told me everyone else appreciated the presents I'd given them. One of those is still left, because I haven't had a chance to order my girlfriend's present yet.
Nothing of note on my present front, but it was very cool to get my wife a few items (and a hefty $$ gift card) for a LUSH outlet that opened recently in ABQ. She has had a rough semester in 2012, and to know that she can get any of the overpriced, but very cool soap/shampoo/bath items she wants that might bring some pleasure is a good feeling.
Shirts, shorts, multiple chocs, pannetone, iTunes $$$ all of which are always good to get. But especially the Senna DVD - see revived thread - and a huge breakfast cup with "Pudding" on it from my daughter, which I used for my Christmas pudding and will probably use for tea at work.
Nothing. Me and the unsuitable boy went halvesies on a sound thingy for the telly and pc and that, before krismas, instead. So I will get something from my little bro - he is very inconsistent, just hope it's not whisky again since I haven't really drunk for a few years now and never liked whisky even when I did.
And something from mum, which will be funny, most likely. And cheap.
And that's it.
Oh no! How could I forget? A mate crocheted me a polar bear with Wimbledon scarf.
The BBC 5-box DVD set of the Olympic games, and the 6-DVD set of all the Monty Python films. But Christmas for me was seeing my girls' faces light up with surprise and unadulterated joy when they realised that on top of the presents they'd put on their lists, Santa had also brought them their own laptop computer. The simple joy of giving, and knowing that from now on the little feckers won't be nagging me to use mine all the time.
A pair of Burlington Manchester socks, in Manchester United colours. Magnifico.
(look, sartorial internet disasters whinging about red socks, the base colour is black, with red and grey argyle diamonds, gold detailing. Gold, of course, being the colour of silverwear. Hang on... that's not right)
Richie also got me a vintage Lyle and Scott flat cap. It's very walking down Green Street to West Ham though. Maybe even a little cabby caricature couture. I certainly couldn't envisage wearing it to Gigg Lane without fear of being mercilessly mocked after the effect, by faceless internet weirdos. But I reckon I can get away with it on the more open-minded streets of Pimlico. I say open-minded, it's just there's a higher concentration of scruff-bags, mentally ill and heroin addicts round this way, so it's easier to get away with this sort of thing.
Without wanting to get all poncey about it, I am happy with and feel very lucky to have any presents but am far more bothered about how the presents I have given are appreciated. However, my wife managed to finally find one of these for me.
Going back to FF's point, my wife used to have a vegetable knife that she loved but took on holiday and left it there. I got her a replacement one and, she was so pleased with it, I think I could have got away without the eternity ring I also got her. Mind you, seeing as the original was part of a cut-price range that Sabatier did for Boots which has been discontinued for years - meaning I had to buy an actual Sabatier, it almost cost as much as the ring.
An At-At walker. Beautiful, so it is. And unlike the oft-peddled gag from every talking-head nostalgia show, it’s actually bigger than I remember. Ms Brown thinks I’m a weirdo, mind (even though she had a hand in buying it); I fear she may be part of the rebel alliance.
But the best present was spending the first Christmas together in our new home. Nothing like breakfast-in-bed with the person you love in your own gaff (we had crumpets, bacon, scrambled-eggs and champagne, since you ask).